Commencement 2017

Syracuse University’s schools and colleges announce convocation speakers

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Convocation speakers include United States Circuit Judge James Graves Jr., NPR newscaster Lakshmi Singh and former Jacksonville Jaguars player Donovin Darius.

On Monday, schools and colleges at Syracuse University announced speakers for this year’s convocation ceremonies. Convocations for each school and college at SU will happen before the 2017 Commencement Ceremony on Sunday.

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences’ convocation will be led by Anthony Noble, vice president and chief of staff to the chairman, president and CEO of American Tower Corp., a broadcast communications real estate developer and manager.

Noble previously acted as a manager and executive for other real estate management and development firms in the United States.

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Jared Green will address 2017 College of Engineering and Computer Science graduates at the college’s convocation. Green, a Class of 2001 civil engineering graduate, is now a part owner of Langan in New York City and serves on the Young Alumni Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Green holds a master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Campaign and is an alumnus of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

College of Law

United States Circuit Judge James Graves Jr. will speak at the College of Law’s commencement. Graves was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and confirmed unanimously by the Senate in 2011.

On Friday, the College of Law will hold its own commencement separate from the university commencement ceremony.

College of Visual and Performing Arts

New York On Tech co-founder Evin Floyd Robinson will address graduates at VPA’s convocation. Robinson is a Class of 2012 graduate of VPA and is a TEDx presenter and was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for education in 2017.

His organization, New York On Tech, helps underrepresented students create the next generation of technology leaders, according to the organization’s website.

School of Education

Donovin Darius, a Class of 1998 graduate of the School of Education, will speak at the School of Education’s convocation. Darius played for the Jacksonville Jaguars after graduating with a degree in health and exercise science.

Darius now acts as a director for the NFL Legends Community and NFL Transitions Coach while also working at the Donovin Darius Foundation, which specializes in community and family impact, according to the foundation’s website.

David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Instead of a traditional convocation speaker, Falk College’s ceremony will feature undergraduate student reflections. Nicole Autino and Arielle Hall, both Class of 2017 graduates of Falk College, will lead the convocation.

Autino and Hall represent the ideals of the 2017 graduates, according to a university press release. 

Martin J. Whitman School of Management

Like Falk College’s ceremony, students will take the podium to address the Whitman School’s graduating class. Master of Business Administration graduates Laura Wortham and Alexis Drickel and undergraduate students Lauren Blake Knafo and Xinye Zou will speak at the convocation. Associate professor Joe Comprix and professor of entrepreneurial practice Kenneth Walsleben will speak alongside the students.

Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Gladys McCormick, an assistant professor of history, is the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs 2017 convocation speaker. McCormick specializes in the histories of Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean and authored a paper on authoritarianism in Mexico.

McCormick is a recipient of the 2017 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award for Teaching and Research and the SU Meredith Teaching Recognition Award. 

School of Architecture

Hsinming Fung, AIA — architect, co-founder and principal of Hodgetts + Fung, a design and architecture firm in Culver City, CA — will speak to the School of Architecture’s graduating class at the 2017 convocation.

Fung’s firm designed structures like the renovated Hollywood Bowl and the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center. She is a longtime advocate of arts and architecture education.

School of Information Studies

Wiley Cerilli, entrepreneur and iSchool graduate, will speak at the iSchool’s convocation. Cerilli spent 10 years at Seamless — a food ordering and delivery service — before founding Good Uncle, a food delivery service that serves smaller cities.

S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

Lakshmi Singh of NPR’s “All Things Considered” will be the keynote speaker at the Newhouse School’s convocation. Singh is a Class of 1994 graduate of the Newhouse School and has more than 25 years of reporting experience. Her work focuses on immigration policy, health and President Donald Trump’s administration.

According to Singh’s biography on NPR’s website, she is passionate about issues Hispanics face today. She holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and Latin American studies from SU.

University College

Timothy Bryant, a recent University College graduate and Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the Maxwell School, will be the convocation speaker for University College. As a former massage therapist, Bryant graduated with honors from University College.


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